Safeguarding applies in a range of cases where a person or persons could be at risk. Scotlandtherapy does not have a mandate to determine whether actual harm has occurred, but in line with the Childrens Act 1989 and Childrens and Families Act 2014 Scotlandtherapy, like all organisations, has certain legal duties. Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility.
- Being alert to the possibility of a child or vulnerable adult suffering neglect or abuse through their observation of abuse, or by professional judgement as a result of information gathered.
- Knowing how to deal with a disclosure or allegation
- Undertaking training as appropriate with updates
- Following local policies and procedures.
- Taking appropriate advice from managers, staturoty organisations and other relavant bodies.
- Participating where appropriate in multi agency working.
- Keeping clear records of any information relavant to disclosure or allegation in an appropriate manner and format.
- Ensuring staff discuss and record safeguarding issues at any supervision sessions.
Scotlandtherapy contracting points out clearly that although confidentiality is respected where possible, where any person or animal is deemed at risk of harm, appropriate action and reporting will be carried out. This includes recording and reporting disclosure and or allegation of abuse.
Scotlandtherapy therapy is provided by Stuart, and it is his role to record any allegation, disclosure or combination of professional observations that might indicate abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult, child or animal.
Once recorded, this information is discussed with either or both supervisors: Peer supervisor (Internal staff – Denise) with a childcare registration and role, or Clinical Supervisor (external consultant) with a medical and healthcare role. Where possible the recorded information will be discussed with one or both parties before further action takes place. However where time is deemed critical to prevent harm, this stage may be skipped in order to offset critical risk.
The next stage is where risk is deemed significant, the appropriate Statutory organisation, and or other person with care / parental responsibility will be contacted urgently and a record kept of this communication. Our priority at this stage is to ensure that a person with statutory power and expertise takes over the key role of investigation and action as rapidly as possible.
Scotlandtherapy will follow up this communication to ensure it has been actioned and not lost.
Although Scotlandtherapy has a duty to identify risk and possible cases of abuse or neglect, staff do not have a mandate to decide or judge, and therefore where possible risk is deemed likely or significant this will be reported to the appropriate statutory body to action further. Where a carer or parent may not be aware of a risk to the person / child in their care, it will be deemed a priority to inform them.
Definition of vulnerable adult varies in threshhold in different parts of the UK, and the level used by Scotlandtherapy will be the relatively low threshhold used in Scotland.
On initial assessment forms post 2020 we have gathered “next of kin” contact details, and where appropriate these will be used to assist in safeguarding a vulnerable client. Care will be taken to identify whether the named person is also the source of risk.
Where clients are international, effort will be made to determine the appropriate reporting method on a case by case basis.
Where clients are vulnerable and suffering neglect or self harm as a result of a lack of proper support, then we will refer the client back to the GP in the first instance so that the client can receive comprehensive and potentially Secondary Care support.
Staff roles and training
Stuart, the clinical practititioner and senior partner has a background in statutory childcare, youth work and ISS care work and has completed extensive safeguarding training in those capacities. He completes regular risk assessment trainings in a range of areas including safeguarding. He is also working towards a Level 7 (Post graduate diploma level) Counselling Safeguarding specialist diploma.
Denise, the peer supervisor and support therapist also works as a registered childcare practitioner and is subject to ongoing training in safeguarding.